Microsoft has done some pretty surprising things in the past few years, but this particular move takes the cake. They’re bringingUbuntu toWindows 10, and they got Canonical to help them do it.
What you see above is a real Bash instance running on a Windows 10 computer. It’s not running inside a virtual machine, either. Everything is taking place in a normal command prompt window. Canonical’s Dustin Kirkland says what’s happening is “real-time translation of Linux syscalls into Windows OS syscalls.”
All the drives that show up under Explorer get mounted as /mnt/drive letter. You can SSH to a host without having to install PUTTY, use tar to manipulate archives, and keep files and folders backed up remotely with rsync.
What Microsoft and Canonical put together is using actual Ubuntu ELF binaries that have been recompiled from source to run on Windows 10 as part of a Universal app. Kirkland says that you can think of it as “the inverse of Wine,” which gives the Windows crowd “full access to the Ubuntu user space.”
Let’s recap what happened here. Microsoft sought out help from Canonical — who offer an operating system that competes directly with Windows — to figure out a way to allow users to easily run Linux — which Microsoft has had an antagonistic relationship with for years — on their Windows PCs.
Why would they do something like that? Because they want developers to choose Windows as the platform on which they develop their apps. They’ve been offering tools to make porting easier, and those were good enough for some devs. Others, however, might need a little extra convincing, so Microsoft is getting creative.
Kirkland notes that not everything works as expected right now, but also says what’s there is “shit hot.” It’s pretty incredible to hear that from a Canonical guy in reference to a Microsoft endeavor.
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